Ever since Max had moved to South Carolina ten years ago, he had fell in love with the beach only miles from his front doorstep. He belonged there. The ocean called to him. Even when no one else ventured to the beach, he was there. During storms, he would go suited up in rain gear to take pictures and watch nature’s fury first hand. It was there that he could forget for a moment that Beth was gone from his life forever. It was also where he allowed his heart to remember her and ultimately mourn his loss. It had been years since the hurricane’s humongous waves had carried her away and drowned her. He had wanted to photograph the hurricane’s fury first hand. When everyone had evacuated to safety, he had convinced Beth to stay and see it with him. How ironic that the place where he found her would ultimately be the place he lost her as well.
He scoured the beach for the treasure that would wash up on shore with the tide. He was never quite sure what he was searching for, but in the deepest depths of his heart he felt empty and knew he had never found it. Instead, he had a vast collection of colorful beach glass, fragments of seashells, and driftwood that he had collected over the years. Unfortunately, all the beach glass, shells, and driftwood in the world wouldn’t bring back his precious Beth. His guilt had ate at him ever since.
One bright April morning he headed to the beach like any other for another leisurely stroll where he always ended up taking more pictures of everything he seen there and adding to his ever growing collection. He bent to pick up what he thought was another piece of driftwood. That is when he found the device. He felt the hair on his neck stand up on end while he looked at it. It was pulsing in his hands, as if alive. Nervously he looked around and found the beach as deserted as it had been moments before. Eerily enough, he felt as if he was being watched. He thought about Beth as he pushed the buttons randomly wanting badly to share his find with her. He heard a crackle, and his breath caught. Beth was walking towards him. His Beth! But that was impossible! He had lost his true love to the sea years ago…still here she was defying all common sense and reason.
Unable to believe what his eyes told him were true, he ran towards her, the device completely forgotten where he had dropped it in the sand in his shock. Her smile lit up the beach and warmed his heart. He wrapped his arms around her and melted into her soft loveliness for the first time in forever. It was like coming home. Tears fogged his vision as he took in the essence of her. The fragrance she always wore enveloped him and filled his senses. Such joy filled his heart as he kissed her and drank her in. There was so much he wanted to say, so many questions he wanted answered. Still he couldn’t find the words. His ability to form coherent thought was lost to him. He lifted her in the air and twirled her around as he had always done, overwhelmed with the joy of finding her once again. She had come back to him!
He grabbed her hand and led her to the device lying on the sand where he had dropped it, picking it up once again. He wanted to show it to her, show her this miraculous piece of treasure that had brought her back to him. She suddenly looked frightened. Shaking her head frantically she dropped his hand and backed away. He didn’t understand. She turned and walked back toward the sea from where she came. This time he wouldn’t let her go! Determined to not lose her again, he went after her with a sense of purpose he had never felt before or since, pushing the buttons in desperation. He disappeared, lost forever to this world, his insatiable curiosity finally getting the best of him. She never looked back, she just kept walking.